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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
First of all Alaska is a beautiful state to visit! The Millennium is a very nice ship to sail. Overall we had a wonderful cruise. This is the first review I have ever written, so it might be a little too haphazardly written and I ... Read More
First of all Alaska is a beautiful state to visit! The Millennium is a very nice ship to sail. Overall we had a wonderful cruise. This is the first review I have ever written, so it might be a little too haphazardly written and I might have left out some things and definitely have written more than I intended. I hesitated giving our experiences on this ship and this cruise a review of 4, but it isn't a 3 either, so maybe a 4 minus overall. I think our rating opinion of this is partially because of experiences on the larger more elaborate Celebrity S-class ships, as well as experiences on other cruise lines. We spent time on a very small ship in Alaska a couple of years ago August of 2015 enjoying up close and personal south eastern Alaskan culture, wildlife, glaciers and land. We loved it and wanted to explore Alaska further north, then take a more luxurious cruise south from the Anchorage area to end in Vancouver. When a special price advertisement from Celebrity arrived via email, the research led us to choose to take a cruise go to Alaska again in August of 2017. We are in our late 50's and 60's and retired. We take a variety of land based and cruise vacations each year. We have sailed with five different cruise lines, 10 or 11 different ships. Celebrity Cruise Line has become our favorite (Captain's Club elite level), previously sailing several times on Equinox, Silhouette, and Reflection. We thought our best ship choice for Alaska this time to be the Millennium, as it had the itinerary and timing to fit the schedule for travel that we liked. We rented a vehicle and spent 10 days touring various areas (Girdwood, Talkeetna, Denali, Cooper's Landing, Sterling/Soldotna and the Kenai Peninsula) on our own, choosing hotels (Alaskya Resort was gorgeous and our room was extra comfortable with a great view) and vacation rental cabins to stay before our beginning our Celebrity Millennium cruise ship adventure. Although we probably wouldn't have chosen a ship guided land tour anyway, I didn't even realize Celebrity had the pre-cruise land tours available. The people we talked to who did this through Celebrity really enjoyed their time on the pre cruise land tour. We knew rain was a probability for at least some of our days of travel in August, so we came prepared for rain or shine. We expected it to feel colder than it did, and were happy to be very comfortable. Looking back, I think we had about 50/50 for days of rain and sunshine on our land based tours and maybe a little more rain than shine during this particular August sailing. Alaska is fabulous! The land, the animals and the people, the culture we encountered were wonderful. We ended our car and home rental journey in Anchorage, spent one night at the Marriott (a pretty nice downtown hotel) ate a nice dinner at Simon and Seaforts (great food and service). We took a cab from the Marriott to the train depot to arrive at 5:45am - quick ride, $5+tip. Before leaving home, we had pre-booked on-line with the Alaska Railroad, and took the train in the reserved "gold star" glass topped train car from Anchorage to Seward. It was amazing, and we were very happy to have taken that train trip to start the cruise portion of this travel adventure. When we got off the train there were free shuttles available to go downtown Seward and to excursions private or ship booked, and buses to the cruise port, it looked like there were some taxis, too, but we chose to walk (maybe 1/2 mile) since we had been sitting for a while on the train. You could see the beautiful Celebrity Millennium ship at the port, which looked so close. We checked in super quickly and easily with everyone helpful along the way. Once we arrived at the terminal and checked in, it started to rain fairly hard, so we quickly walked on board the ship, and after we had our picture taken for the security, we were greeted with champagne and mimosas, which is always nice on Celebrity ships. We made discounted specialty restaurant dinner reservations to add to the two we had made on-line prior to leaving home. We decided that our ventures prior to the cruise had already taken us to this area (in better weather) and to many small shops for shopping, so we stayed onboard to explore the ship a little until our cabins were available. The ship was clean, nicely decorated with beautiful artwork, and had many areas for a variety of personalities to enjoy. We toured every public part of the ship (that was especially fun before the ship was full), including each of the restaurants and bars and could see that every area looked pleasant and clean. We also took the galley tour, that was interesting. The M-class ships look similar, yet very different from the S-Class ships, and the Millennium is definitely a little older and not as bright, but still very nice and enjoyable. We noticed that the people who work on the Millennium are genuinely pleasant and kind, and happily acknowledged every person with a smile and hello (well all but one bartender at the martini bar and one bartender at the deck 10 aft Ocean View bar who always seemed sour acting until one of the officers/head staff with bars on their shoulders came by, then they perked up like they were the best friend of the person they had just ignored for 5 or 10 minutes and ever so cheerful and helpful. One at the martini bar had not smiled even a teeny tiny bit until the bosses came around, then he changed his look and attitude for a short time.) During the first evening we had a great time meeting with some cruise critic roll call group friends at the Ocean view bar, then we ate our first dinner at the fun and fabulous QZine, then headed to our muster station for the 7:45 drill. We started the sail away before the drill was over. We went to our fabulous corner aft balcony to watch the rest of the sail away. Seward was so beautiful. Throughout the cruise there was a variety of music and entertainment on this ship, so it made it nice for each person to find at least one area where they could enjoy music or dancing, gambling or production shows, art auctions or shopping, coffee drinking or swimming or hot tubs, quiet conversation, card games, movies, dining, etc. Something for everyone. There were not many children, so that was pleasant. (I enjoy kids, but not everyone keeps their children acting as they might in public places. As a parent, grandparent and former educator, I do like children around, but know they need guidance in public places, and that jumping,climbing, screaming and crying distracts from the enjoyment of others that have to be around the families that sometimes don't pay attention to or take care of the behavior of their children.) The few children we did notice were very well behaved. We did not eat in the main dining room (we've previously had a suite - loved Luminae ; or aqua class - loved Blu, so we have never eaten in the main dining room on a Celebrity ship.) Taste for food is always different for each person, so with that in mind, we didn't think it was super gourmet, but thoroughly enjoyed the food we ate on this ship. (We usually gain only a few pounds on a cruise vacation and lose it quickly when we get home.) On the Millennium we ate dinners at Q-Zine, Tuscan Grille and Sushi on 5. We liked the fun presentation and the variety of tasty food in Q-zine. We love sushi, and found the food at Sushi on 5 to be very enjoyable and well worth trying. The Tuscan Grille had really good food too. We shared a chicken salad at the Solarium spa cafe on embarkation day, and thought it was good. I guess because of the location of our room we didn't get back there for lunch or breakfast on this ship again. The food in the Ocean View Cafe buffet was decent, not exciting, but we thought the things we ate were good. The variety of offerings on the last full sea day were much better than they had been, and it was hard to decide what to eat of all of the foods available. While it was generally kept very clean, some of the seating areas felt like a clanging and banging school cafeteria. I would say, all of the food fell into the good to very good, maybe not super exceptional category for us. Truly it seems with the abundance of food venues, everyone could find something good to eat somewhere on the ship. I found that if I did not like the look or flavor of something, I could choose not to eat it. We had a "Premium Beverage Package", which was nice. We don't drink a lot of alcohol, but a glass or two of wine with dinner, a mixed drink or martini now and then, plus the specialty coffee each morning, as well as the still and sparkling bottled water makes it worthwhile for us. We were only asked if we had the beverage package a couple of times, so fortunately it really never became a bothersome issue that some people have mentioned in reviews. The Wine Bar was nice, but so dark. The martini bar was usually busy and fun venue, (don't know why I need to mention this, but the bar top didn't ice as solidly as other ships.) The bartenders were entertaining and talented - one guy was not seem like he acted very nice to anyone, but then again I did not see him doing any of the fabulous juggling, etc. so he might have been brought in from another bar when they were busy. The gym was very nicely equipped. After a quick tour of the spa facilities, I was not impressed, the Persian garden area, as well as the bathroom and dressing areas were certainly not inviting. I usually have several massages and go to the Persian Gardens, but opted not to do that this time. There were plenty of other things to do, so I'll just save that for another cruise. The outdoor pool and indoor indoor solarium pool area looked great, but we did not try them out. I put my foot into the water in the solarium hot tub area, it was great, but while not overly crowded, we still opted not to go in to the pools or hot tubs. There was a lot of lingering smoke as we walked through the outdoor pool area, so we tried not to pass through there. As expected, the ports were great, and as usual I always aim for the local shops or restaurants and avoid the diamond, etc outlet type stores. We thought the shore excursions we booked that weren't canceled due to the weather were great. If I'd have had time and not decided on this vacation sort of last minute and spur of the moment, I'd have made the reservations for each port separate from the ship excursion desk with the same companies for less cost. One lady at the excursion desk onboard seemed to say with an attitude, we do the best we can, like it or lump it. Too bad, so sad your tour was cancelled. Certainly made me think I'd be better off booking excursions on my own in US ports just so I wouldn't give business to that part of the ship. As with most places I, like any person shops...if I like the service, I continue to choose to do business with them, if I don't like the service, I shop elsewhere. Disembarkation went very smoothly! We had a 2 pm flight, so our disembarkation was scheduled for about 9 am. We ate breakfast, picked up our hand carry little bag and waited in the assigned waiting at the Tuscan Grille (Captain's club elite group) area, then without much line at all, walked off the ship when our number was announced. We had a porter load our bags from our numbered area and he took us to the taxi line (looked like it branched into 3 areas, as well as the bus and shuttle lines. This seemed very organized, at least it worked out for us. Along the way we showed our passport and turned in our customs form. We were assigned a taxi to the airport. The airport portion went smoothly too, but that is one for another review. Will we travel to Alaska again? Absolutely! If we travel on an Alaskan cruise again, we might travel on the Millennium, but might want to try another ship, too. Will we travel with Celebrity? Definitely. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My friend and I visited Alaska back in 2005 when we did Calgary/Lake Louise/Banff/ 2 day Train through Canadian Rockies (sleep in Klamploff (?)) to Vancouver and than Inside Passage (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier) on board the ... Read More
My friend and I visited Alaska back in 2005 when we did Calgary/Lake Louise/Banff/ 2 day Train through Canadian Rockies (sleep in Klamploff (?)) to Vancouver and than Inside Passage (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier) on board the Summit. It was great; however, we always wished we did Denali. So this year after 3 years of planning and saving we set force for Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, and boarded the Millennium in Seward to travel to Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Straight Point, Ketchikan and Vancouver. This was a great cruise with only a few hick-ups. Loved the Hubbard Glacier (we got within 1/4 mile of it), did the Hovercraft to Taku Glacier in Juneau (and walked on it, bucket list check off), wandered around in Icy Straight Pt (recommend the $20 Crabby Bloody Mary at Crab Shack), traveled White Pass Summit and Yukon train via Chilkoot Charters and had lunch at Carcross Caribou Crossing). Wandered around Ketchikan. We went Aqua class for a great price deal with drink package and $450 OBC thrown in. First time in Aqua. Had all dinners and 5 breakfasts in Blu. My friend had better food luck then I did. I had about 5 meal misses (wrong cook temp, salty lobster, dry halibut, salty eggs, uncuttable eggs benedict, and uncuttable baked Alaska!) Loved the special drinks in Blu and the service (Novi, Alit, Jackline, Nade, etc.) was unbelievable. Cabin attendant (ANDI) was great. Had light lunch in buffet a couple of times. Café al Bacio is a fav place. Violists were great. Liar's Club hysterical. Shows OK. Comic funny. I found the shipboard entertainment outside the theater to be very sparse. Had a massage (so relaxing) and experienced the Persian Gardens (nice but lacked instructions) and hung in the Solarium (in bathing suite) a couple of afternoons. Dave B (land tour) and Dana (driver) were wonderful. Dave took lots of pix (excellent) and shared them with us via email. Loved seeing all the bears, moose, caribou, eagles and both the north and south face of Denali. Only regret was not seeing the Northern Lights. We left wake up calls just in case. Both hotels were average. Denali hotel was very cold. Food was mostly good but very expensive. The cruise docs said plan $50 per day for pretour - have no idea how that is possible. Buffet breakfasts were norm offerings and they were $20. Dinners were closer to $40 plus tips. We filled up to avoid lunch! Went to the Denali Park Village dinner and show which was good but you sit a picnic tables which are geared for skinny people and its family style. BBQ was good, salmon didn't appeal to me. Went to Fairbanks salmon bake and show - salmon was yummy but they were ill equipped to serve the number of people attending (esp since it rained.) Show after Salmon Bake just ok. While in Fairbanks, we did a side trip to U of Alaska museum which was excellent, worth the cab or uber ride and entrance fee. Time in Fairbanks city a waste. Gold Dredge 8, Discovery Riverboat Cruise with tour of Chena Village was excellent. Visited the 40 Below freezer - free - wow, 40 below is COLD! I brought too many clothes. Alaska is much more casual. Layers are a must. Wore khakis and long or short sleeved tops mostly, dressed black pants and top only twice. Did not wear the 2 dresses or skirt I bought. When out and about on land wore sweater and lined windbreaker. Was glad I had scarf, hat and gloves. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We had never seen Alaska and all we heard was that the scenery was beautiful. Banff and Jasper were probably even nicer. The Hubbard glacier was amazing and we were quite close. The trip was very reasonable with everything included. Our ... Read More
We had never seen Alaska and all we heard was that the scenery was beautiful. Banff and Jasper were probably even nicer. The Hubbard glacier was amazing and we were quite close. The trip was very reasonable with everything included. Our onboard credit covered gratuities and shopping. There is no need to go to the specialty restaurant s when you are already paying for a meal. The lobster , rack of lamb and wild salmon were outstanding meals and the rest were good. There is always something to order or have a few appetizers. The evening entertainment was excellent to outstanding. There were singers, dancers, comedian and acrobats. The lounge had a husband and wife violin duo which was absolutely outstanding. We saw them a number of times The entertainment was geared to 50 plus but that seemed to fit the majority. There were few younger people or children onboard Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Embarkation was as smooth and seamless as you can expect with that many people coming through. There were 2 ships boarding and directions were very clear and straight forward. The embarkation lunch for conceraige was delicious as was the ... Read More
Embarkation was as smooth and seamless as you can expect with that many people coming through. There were 2 ships boarding and directions were very clear and straight forward. The embarkation lunch for conceraige was delicious as was the triple chocolate cake provided when the waiter found out about my birthday. Our cabin was ready on time although we did have to go down and get new keys-was not not an issue (or wait) at all. All areas of the ship were clean and well kept. We ate in the Grand Eparney each evening and the food never disappointed. We were able to have more than 1 appetizer, entree and dessert if requested. The dining room wait staff and sommelier were top notch and had great suggestions each evening. I think the dining room bar staff could have taken a tip or 2 from their counterparts to go above and beyond in their service. I enjoy a chocolate martini each evening with dinner but for some reason was not able to order one in the dining room-I had to get one from the martini bar and bring it into dinner myself. The first formal night I spilled the drink on my gown and shoes. As we were dining on deck 4 and were mere steps from the martini bar, I don't think it would have been burdensome for the bar staff to order and bring to our table each night and would have made an already enjoyable dining experience just that much better. The seas were quite rough the last 2 days leaving Alaska and entering Victoria but that is not any fault of the ship or her crew. The talented guys at the Martini Bar never disappointed and put on great shows. The Sky lounge was a nice place to relax in the sun on the roughest of sea days. I was very happy to see as many gowns and tuxedos on the Chic Nighrs as I did. Most people put a real effort into "dressing to impress" as Marrten (cruise director) put it one day. Although it rained lightly in all Alaskan ports. the cities/towns are beautiful and a pleasure to walk. Overall a wonderful vacation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Our group of 3 couples had planned a cruise for September on Princess and when someone had a conflict on dates we moved our cruise to August and selected the Celebrity cruise because of it's Friday departure time. Embarkation and ... Read More
Our group of 3 couples had planned a cruise for September on Princess and when someone had a conflict on dates we moved our cruise to August and selected the Celebrity cruise because of it's Friday departure time. Embarkation and debarkation were crowded, but moved along quickly - no complaints here. The ship was well maintained and the crew were awesome! Loved our select dining team - Inacio, Christopher and Benvinedo! After the second dinner they knew all our preferences. One night my husband joked that he could have eaten two creme brulee and the next night that was what was brought to him (yes, he did eat both). I will say "Select Dining" was different than I've experienced in the past. We didn't have to choose an early or late seating and stick with it, but the only options were an early or late seating - ask for 6 pm or 7 pm and forget about it. It was 5:30 or 8:30. So I guess your "Select Dining" was you could choose between early and late. Food was okay - I've had more selection on other cruise lines. Was hoping for some special Alaskan menus, but didn't really get any. They did offer a crab shack, but one our cruise mates said it was much more expensive than the one on Princess with less food (one king crab leg as opposed to 3 with shrimp). On the NCL line we had a beautiful huge outdoor salmon bbq - it was amazing. Our balcony room was a great size with plenty of storage. Our patio furniture was looking pretty sad, but it did the trick. We didn't see much of our steward, but you always felt his presence by the sight of our pristine room any time we left it a mess. No matter what time we left or returned we were greeted by the sight of a spotless room! I did not appreciate the fact that even though I spent several thousand dollars for my balcony room, I felt like a second class citizen because they have two restaurants reserved for their Aqua Class and Suite guests. Make a couple other fun specialty restaurants. I was very disappointed because we are not shushi fans and had been excited when we read about Bistro on 5. But, when they made their upgrades last fall it was turned into Sushi on 5. It also seemed like Celebrity had the worst cruise berths at every port (except Ketchikan). Also, in Juneau we queued up to ride the small shuttle because it was such a long walk, but after being at the front of the line through 3 shuttle pick ups while the crew who were managing it just let people swam on, we finally just walked ourselves to the end of the pier so that we didn't miss our excursion (although they would have waited as it was a private tour for the 6 of us. My husband and I have only been on two other cruises - one to Alaska on the Norwegian Pearl and one in Southern Calif on the Crown Princess, so not a lot to compare it too, but I did find there were much better dining options on both of these ships and the specialty restaurants on Princess and NCL were much more reasonable, as well. We didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants, but one couple did for their anniversary and they felt that the Tuscan Grille steak and accompaniments were not nearly as good as the Crown Grille on the Princess. Caffe Baccio was a great place to chat or read with a delicious pot of Tea Forte. I'm a huge Mocha fan and I could not drink their espresso drinks - ended up having tea or hot chocolate. Very lovely team who worked in this area. My husband got a massage on a port day, so it was supposed to be cheaper, but it was still $241.10 with gratuity, much more than he ever paid on the other 2 cruiselines. Entertainment on the ship was pretty good, the comedian was very funny, but we didn't attend his 2nd set that was for 18+ as I didn't know how adult he would get. The ship's entertainment and production numbers were pretty good and we loved Euphoria with a lot of the aerial work - it was beautiful. Marteen, our cruise director, was pretty entertaining. We all absolutely loved Brent Nixon the naturalist and his wife Mary Amanda Fairchild, the historian. They were both so knowledgeable and passionate about their talks. We went to everyone except one that was during a port day when we had an excursion. They are almost worth choosing Celebrity just to have the privilege of listening to them. We only took one ship planned excursion and that was to see the glacier up the fjords. We moved from the ship to a catamaran while at sea and headed in for a close look at the glacier - it was amazing and we loved it. In Ketchikan we used a private tour company and had a fantastic time - while on our hike in the Tonga Rain Forest we were lucky enough to watch a bear go into the river and fish for his dinner. He eventually caught one and it was an amazing sight to see! In Skagway we bypassed the train and opted for another private tour just for the six of us into the Yukon. It was fantastic! We were in a very comfortable shuttle for 14 (and only 6 of us) with huge windows. We were able to stop wherever and whenever we wanted. Our tour guide doubled as our photographer. She was also super knowledgeable about the history and the area (she is a full-time resident). We had a 6 hour tour that stretched into 7 hours and it flew by it was so fun. It actually cost the 6 of us less money for this private tour then if we had each bought round-trip tickets on the train. Back to the ship - I was surprised that they advertised a Sabbath service, but no mention of a Sunday service - maybe we just missed it or were supposed to arrange ourselves if wanted. I guess it's a moot point anyway as we were on a tour in Ketchikan that morning. This trip was much rainier and cooler then it was the last time we went in August, but we still had a great time. It just meant that we cancelled our Alcove and didn't spend as much time on deck. Overall, I would take another Celebrity Cruise, but I wouldn't necessarily make it my first choice - it would have to be the right itinerary and price. I think next time I'll be back to Princess or NCL or maybe I'll try Royal Caribbean. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second trip to Alaska, as we went 2 years ago on another cruise line. We went on Celebrity because it was recommended by friends who were originally going to be travelling with us. For the most part, it was very nice. The ... Read More
This was our second trip to Alaska, as we went 2 years ago on another cruise line. We went on Celebrity because it was recommended by friends who were originally going to be travelling with us. For the most part, it was very nice. The ship is beautiful and has a lot of really nice public areas. The Library and Game Room are nice touches, with comfortable tables and chairs. Both overlook the atrium, and can be loud if they have a band playing in the atrium. The dining was slightly disappointing. The food was OK, but nothing really amazing. The Oceanview Cafe was pretty good for breakfast, but not much variety. Lunches were OK; there was a lot of mediocre steam table food. Mexican dishes were terrible (skip them!), the Asian dishes were pretty decent, and you can always make a sandwich if nothing else. The Grand Epernay restaurant (a.k.a. main dining room) was good, but not wonderful. They did not offer much in the way of Alaska-themed dishes. On our previous Alaska cruise we had wonderful regional dishes on the menu every night (halibut, salmon, prawns, crab). Twice I selected one of the "everynight" dishes because nothing else sounded all that great. Selections were not as extensive as on our previous cruise as well. That being said, our waitstaff was superb. They were attentive, but not hovering. The Solstice offers a "crab shack" style meal for an upcharge of $25, which was also disappointing, as they only gave one crab leg, with an additional crab leg available for $10 more. Once again, comparing to our previous cruise on another line, we had dinner at their crab shack and for $20 I got three gigantic king crab legs, plus about 40 peel-and-eat shrimp. Additionally, on our previous cruise, one day they offered reindeer chili and salmon chowder on the deck with at no additional cost, and I did not see anything like that on Solstice. We had dinner in the Tuscan Grille one night and it was excellent. But why so many restaurants that are either upcharged or unavailable to the general public? (I'm looking at you, Blu and Luminae.) Mast Grill had good burgers and dogs, and above-average fries that were always hot and fresh. Entertainment was pretty good. The comedian, Al Ducharme, was really funny and enjoyable. The naturalist, Brent Nixon, and his wife, Miss Amanda were a big highlights on this trip. They were interesting, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. Nature and history should always be this engaging! Our service was great, especially in the Cafe al Bacio, where the waitstaff is wonderful! And our cabin steward (who we never actually saw), kept our room fresh and spotless for the whole week. We only went on one excursion through the cruise line; the catamaran trip to the glacier, and it was incredible! It was a little expensive, but totally worth it! We saw harbor seals, sea lions, whales and eagles, not to mention close-up views of the glacier as well as waterfalls! One note - if you are on this ship and are tempted to see anything (movie or other entertainment) in the Celebrity Central theater (I think that is what it is called), try to avoid it. The seating is exceptionally uncomfortable. We saw a movie there and could hardly get through the whole thing because we could not get into a comfortable position. The seats are very low and my rear, hips and knees were killing me by the end of the show. My travelling companions and I are all on the short side, and we were wondering how anyone tall would do in those very short seats. I recommend that someone from Celebrity sit in one of those chairs for 2 1/2 hours and see how it feels. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Embarkment on and off the ship was outstanding, organized and well run. The ship, although aged, was still nice, always clean, and well kept. The main dining room had great food most nights. Some of us ordered two main entrees or two ... Read More
Embarkment on and off the ship was outstanding, organized and well run. The ship, although aged, was still nice, always clean, and well kept. The main dining room had great food most nights. Some of us ordered two main entrees or two appetizers which was great. The on-board entertainment and activities was good but I've had better. The service was exceptional. Employees work extra hard to ensure your cruise is a memorable one. The Ports and Shore excursions were OK. Sitka is a small port with not much to do. Juneau was raining and foggy so we missed our excursion taking a glider plane to the Taku lodge to see the Glacier. Ketchikan was a great city to explore but we had a limited time to try to fit in excursions and shopping. Be sure to visit Creek street for awesome shops! If I were to do an Alaskan cruise again, I would be sure to go during their summer months and choose a date late July or early August. Our cruise on August 13th was off season and rainy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We did not choose this particular cruise - other family members coordinated the entire event; half of the group had lived and worked in Alaska many years previously. Some of our group completed a self-guided interior Alaska pre-cruise ... Read More
We did not choose this particular cruise - other family members coordinated the entire event; half of the group had lived and worked in Alaska many years previously. Some of our group completed a self-guided interior Alaska pre-cruise tour, including 3 nights in the Denali area. We arrived for two days pre-cruise activities in the Anchorage area; the last folks arrived the night before the cruise. We all gathered at the Anchorage Hilton overnight and together took the train to Seward to board the Millennium. With 8 in our group, the ages went from 2 to 72. Most interestingly from our perspective was that we completed all embarkation processing when checking in for the train: passport check, medical forms completion, and received our SeaPass. Arriving in Seward, it was a quick check through security and we walked directly onboard and to our rooms. Our luggage was transported from the hotel to our cabins, showing up while we were at dinner the first evening. With the Aqua class cabin, our dining assignment was for Blu. We found the service excellent from the Maitre d to the servers and sommelier. With the exception of one dinner meal, the food exceeded our expectations. (I guess you can not please all the people all the time!) Those of our party in suites were "blown away" with the food and service in Luminae, as well as the concierge and servers in Michael's Club. The entire group was seated for a Chef's Table Experience, hosted by the on-board naturalist representing the Celebrity Crew. The food was great and the wine pairing superb and overflowing. We found the food and service in the Oceanview Cafe to be very good. The only disappointment anyone voiced was the pastries that did not live up to expectations. We found the spa, operated by Canyon Ranch, to be excellent, with a good variety of services. The women's sauna was not functional, so the men's sauna was converted into a "unisex sauna" which none of our group used on the cruise. As our family group pretty much stuck together and entertained ourselves, we participated in few offerings by the ship's crew and onboard entertainers. My wife and I were on our 6th Alaskan cruise (third on the Millennium), so most shore activities were on our own. Our favorite port was, and continues to to be, Icy Strait Point (others in descending order Skagway, Ketchikan, and Juneau). We thought the onboard naturalist, Mr Milos Radakovich, did an excellent job. Our Hubbard Glacier experience was terrific and the closest we have been in the three visits; on the way out, we actually sailed around the small rocky outcrop of an island to the side of the glacier and back out across Yakatut Bay. The only child was our grandson, age two and a half; all the others were adults. So there is no evaluation pertinent to he youth activities, other than we know there were some. If we were to cruise Alaska again, we would be looking for different ports; that is to take nothing from this Celebrity Millennium Alaska Southbound cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I am going to focus and not repeat much of what the other reviews say. We were a little put off pre-cruise about some of the reviews on the Millie's age and condition. While there are definitely signs of wear - a few rust spots ... Read More
I am going to focus and not repeat much of what the other reviews say. We were a little put off pre-cruise about some of the reviews on the Millie's age and condition. While there are definitely signs of wear - a few rust spots here and there and other small things - we considered them small and they did not impact our enjoyment of the cruise. This was our first Celebrity cruise and we were impressed. The Blu dining room menu was great for breakfast - a bit hit and miss for dinner on one or two nights. I did not ask for an item from the main dining room menu and did not see anyone else do so - so not sure if this is an option, but it would have been nice one of the evenings. Service in Blu was always superb and the quality of the food was almost always great (my wife's steak one night was not good - but immediately replaced by our server). I just was not always able to find an entree I was thrilled with - but I ate too much on this trip anyway so one night of an entree salad was probably a good thing. Our cabin steward was very well trained and so efficient that he was nearly invisible to us as the room was always cleaned and prepared without us ever seeing him in our room. The Cosmos lounge on deck 11 was an amazing place to watch the ship move through the inside passage at sunset. We were very impressed with the Icy Straight port - not a city at all but a "manufactured" port run by the local peoples - and run very well. My wife raved for days to anyone who would listen about the salmon preparation and cooking "tour" offered there (actually, we've been home almost a week and she is still talking about it). I was glad she was able to do that because it gave me an opportunity to go kayaking in a single kayak - a rare opportunity for an experienced sea-kayaker on a cruise tour. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
There were 3 couples on this cruise, my husband and I, my parents and his parents. Before our cruise, the 4 parents all went to Denali and did a helicopter ride on a clear day to see the mountain (recommended by the way!) My husband and I ... Read More
There were 3 couples on this cruise, my husband and I, my parents and his parents. Before our cruise, the 4 parents all went to Denali and did a helicopter ride on a clear day to see the mountain (recommended by the way!) My husband and I met them in Anchorage and the next day we took a quick tour of the city with a ride down with a stop at the Alyeska resort and the Wildlife Conservation Center. We stayed at an amazing B&B in Seward and spent a couple of days using the B&B's kayaks/canoes to see grizzlies with cubs and a Kenai Fjords tour, where we saw a glacier up close (closer than the cruise ship will get), as well as humpbacks, orcas and sea lions. Seward was our favorite "port," and if you take a cruise that embarks/disembarks there, spend a couple of days in Seward! The restaurants were great, and you can see all you want of Alaska right from there! Embarkation was VERY quick and smooth. As soon as you get on the Millennium, you notice that it has classy décor, but you will also be inundated with staff trying to get you to purchase beverage packages, spa packages, etc. This was the only time that the service was truly annoying. The buffet was fairly good, but the buffet desserts are not... skip them for the homemade ice cream that is served everyday. All 3 couples had AquaClass rooms, and the only amenity that made it worth it was the Blu dining room. I will get back to the dining in a minute, but the room was fine and on par with any cruise ship room, but all three rooms had problems with the toilets flushing. The pressure system may have been shut off at certain times, but it seems to be a minor problem ship-wide. From all reviews I saw on Alaskan cruises, people said that if you ever do a balcony, it must be on an Alaskan cruise. Well all 3 of us couples left saying that it wasn't necessary. The only day we really ever went out on our balconies was the last sea day. On the top level, there is no overhang, so when it was raining, which was frequent, you don't want to be out there. It was cold and not much to see. When there are things to see, you can be on the decks, at the Oceanview Café (buffet) or lounges with windows. The room stewards are fantastic and really work their tails off to ensure everyone is happy. As for dining, the food was great in Blu. We tried the dining in the main Metropolitan dining room once (one the first Evening Chic night), and the food was good, but the service was more chaotic, and the tables were so close together, that people were banging into each other's chairs and in the way of waiters all the time. It felt overwhelming and not like a relaxing vacation. All 6 of us wished we were back in Blu for the attentive and unrushed service. We each got two appetizers each night as well as an entrée and a dessert (or two!). The maitre'd and hostess felt like family by the end of the week, and we loved the waitstaff there. And try the BLU cheese soufflé! The buffet was fine, and we often skipped Blu for breakfast in favor of the buffet because of the many options including the omelet station and the 4 types of eggs benedict. The coffee is great on the ship, but if you prefer a strong, bitter coffee like Starbucks you might be disappointed. The food was lovely at the afternoon tea/snacks at the OceanView Café from 3-4pm. We wished we'd tried it earlier in the cruise. The entertainment was varied, but mostly it was below average. The highlight was definitely the impersonator! It was his first time on the ship the week that we sailed, and he was truly entertaining; the six of us all laughed harder than we had in a long time, and it is great for all ages. The comedian was decent, as was the acrobatic duo. However the production show with Celebrity dancers/singers was NOT good. The singers are not fantastic singers, and the storyline is very poor. All six of us were disappointed in that one. And do yourself a favor and skip the solo singer. The first night has a highlight of upcoming shows, and she sang 2-3 songs and was flat numerous times. My husband and I didn't say anything to the rest of our party and skipped her actual night, which was a tribute to Whitney Houston. I didn't want to see someone botch Whitney songs, and sure enough the rest of our party went and said she was terribly flat on the big notes. I should've told them and saved them their evening! We didn't try many of the activities except the Galley Tour. It was nice to see the galley, but the tour guide spoke with most of us trailing around the corner, and you won't hear most of what they say. The evening activities seem like nice musicians and singers if you want to relax with a cocktail. The Persian Gardens are basically three sauna rooms. They were ok, but if they weren't free with AquaClass, I wouldn't have paid the extra to go in. The Solarium was nice and hot tubs were hot, but they need more hot tubs on an Alaskan cruise! The outdoor pool was never used by anyone, and the hot tubs outside were lukewarm and not used as well. The fitness center was nice (classes are overpriced), and the rooftop movies were good for the kids on the ship, but it was definitely too cold and rainy for us! Juneau - we did the Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Bake - You don't actually get right to the glacier and the salmon bake was just ok, but we did see a black bear right next to us there fishing for salmon, and thankfully a person working there stood between us and the bear (with bear spray I'm sure) just in case! Skagway - we did an independent excursion with Chilkoot Charters, and rode a bus with guide one way up the gold rush route and all the way into the Yukon. If you go past the railway route and into the Yukon, you will have a nice lunch, go to a dog sled camp, see Emerald Lake and the town of Carcross. We rode the railway back down with beautiful views... we recommend this tour! Icy Strait Point - the guys went halibut fishing and caught/released some halibut, and us girls had a spa day. Highly recommended! Seriously though, the rituals are awesome, but the Canyon Ranch Spas are way overpriced. If we hadn't known we'd probably see whales in Seward, I would've booked us a whale watching tour with Misty Lodge. ISP is across from Juneau so the whale watching is great at both. There is not much actually at the port (shops, restaurants, etc) to do. Ketchikan - We first walked around a bit and definitely walk a few blocks back to Creek Street. The shops are adorable on the creek, and there is lots of history there. Seals were putting on a show in the creek, and we definitely preferred the shopping here to the places next to the docks. We booked two floatplane tours here. The first was a Margaret Creek Bear Flight to go to a salmon run to watch Black Bears. With Mountain Service, we were there to watch the bears for 3 hours! (4 hour total tour) We were there much longer than the other tour companies and saw MANY black bears and several moms/cubs. Some came right by us on the path to the viewing platform, but the guides keep you safe. Very recommended, and the floatplane ride was beautiful around Ketchikan, and landing on water is so much smoother than a runway landing! Our second floatplane tour was going to be to Misty Fjords, but those flights were all cancelled with all tour companies that day with the low cloud coverage and lack of visibility to see the beauty of the fjords. Disembarkation was not great if you are taking a tour through Celebrity. We had one of the earliest departure times of the Celebrity Vancouver tours in the gathering room, and we were called last (that was the mistake of the person calling numbers). 1/3 of the people on our bus had missing luggage that wasn't placed in the proper area, and I hope they eventually got everything to the proper destination! There was also confusion on where to send people to for their buses, but otherwise it was ok, and all 6 of us all had our luggage pieces. One of the reasons we chose Celebrity for our Alaskan cruise was that there is a naturalist on board. To hear him however, you have to go to a certain lounge when he is speaking. Celebrity needs to record what he is saying and put it through the television system on one of their Celebrity channels so you can hear as you are in your room or on your balcony. Overall we had a fantastic time on the Millennium. The ship was beautiful with 3 sets of elevators that were quick, the food was plentiful with delicious options, the service was top-notch, and the itinerary (especially starting or ending in Seward) was perfect. The only reason we wouldn't go again is the expense of an Alaskan cruise - to really see Alaska and not just scratch the surface it takes some money on excursions. But it was a beautiful cruise with wonderful memories to last a lifetime! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Celebrity gave us the best deal for a group/family cruise. The staff were excellent as was the food. Cabins were clean and had plenty of storage. We had three in a veranda stateroom but wouldn't want a fourth person in there. ... Read More
Celebrity gave us the best deal for a group/family cruise. The staff were excellent as was the food. Cabins were clean and had plenty of storage. We had three in a veranda stateroom but wouldn't want a fourth person in there. The ship is dated and needs a good cosmetic overhaul. Onboard activities didn't really excite us too much although we did enjoy the MickeyLive show every day to give us a heads-up of what would be happening the following day. Unfortunately I think Mickey has, or will soon be leaving the Infinity for the Solstice. The Oceanview Cafe buffet was fabulous but a bit of a bunfight quite frequently, although I'm not sure Celebrity could do too much about this. We had to use Guest Relations a couple of times. They were always pleasant, polite, friendly and helpful. Shore excursions were good and we organised ours through Celebrity. The exchange rate at the time of booking make Celebrity's excursions very competitive. Hopwever, our first excursion - the forest tram in Icy Strait Point - was a waste of time and money. This isn't Celebrity's fault, just a poor excursion. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we were able to get our "suite " using Marriott Vacation Club points. We were in a Sky Suite which is merely a large room with a small balcony. The service made up for any deficiencies in the room. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were able to get our "suite " using Marriott Vacation Club points. We were in a Sky Suite which is merely a large room with a small balcony. The service made up for any deficiencies in the room. The suite concierge was fantastic. The itinerary was what we wanted. The excursions were handled with efficiency. Getting on and off the ship was easier than the smaller luxury vessels we have sailed on. The entertainment was ok. The biggest problem we had was the internet which was spotty and unreliable. Unable to access about 30-40 percent of the time. Since we had two unlimited packages that was annoying. The room attendant was very friendly and efficient. The room was very clean and since we had the premier drink package, our refrigerator was kept full. Most of the time we ate in the suite special restaurant, Luminae. The food and service were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife and I started talking about our first cruise a year out. A friend at work and his wife are avid cruisers with lots of experience with various cruise lines. Another friend is also an avid cruiser and a travel agent (we booked our ... Read More
My wife and I started talking about our first cruise a year out. A friend at work and his wife are avid cruisers with lots of experience with various cruise lines. Another friend is also an avid cruiser and a travel agent (we booked our cruise through her). Between the two, we got lots of good advice. Reviewing the various cruise lines available, we were interested in being around career professionals in their mid-50's (like us). Wanted to reduce exposure to the exclusive singles/party scene, too many kids and the golden age crowd. Heard various stories about seniors racing for the buffet tables on at least one well known cruise line. All in all Celebrity fit the experience we wanted. I would estimate the ship population mix at 45% senior couples, 40% professional career couples, 5% kids and 10% assorted singles of various stripes. Because we had saved up for this cruise, we opted for some decent onboard packages including the full drink package and unlimited WiFi. I was disappointed that my Android Samsung smart phone was not compatible with the shipboard WiFi (a problem ship staff already knew about). But my tablet saved the day and quenched by thirst for email and daily national news. We decided for our first cruise we would make selected "purchases" to experiment. I did not recall it when we purchased our cruise reservations 8 months before the cruise, but we ended up with $300 in ship board credits that was nice. In the end we spent out of our pockets only at the gift shops and restaurants in the ports of call. LINES. We encountered anticipated significant lines only three times during our vacation: embarkation, disembarkation and the first port of call in Ketchikan. In Ketchikan it seems everyone chose to return to the ship exactly two hour prior to departure. The line to get back on the ship felt like it was a quarter mile long. Given we were closer to the front of the line, we had time on board to sit at the balcony with binoculars watching the long line slowing move along. All other ports of call went smoothly. On board, experiences with long or slow lines were very limited. Take the advice of daily printed schedules and any ship board announcements and you won't be delayed. The whole lines experience vaguely reminded me of FastPass at Disney World... they have done this before and know how to handle crowds. After disembarkation (after leaving the physical ship) it felt like a free-for-all (competing for transportation away from the port dock). FOOD. I think the highlight of the cruise was the food. Personally I am not a big connoisseur of fancy or foreign foods, but most every meal was excellent. We opted to eat in the main dining room perhaps 3 times (definitely did not want to miss lobster night). We found that Deck 14's Oceanview Cafe turned out to be our meal preference. It included perhaps 6 different food buffets at each meal including a different themed international buffet each evening. My wife and I would spent 10 minutes wondering around filling up our plates then join each other at a table to eat our meals. The food was great. Not a fast food grill situation, but rather it seemed the food at each buffet was professionally chef made. An excellent experience. We did not opt to eat at any of the fancy exclusive restaurants on board except for the Japanese Sushi place. That food was very good, but I felt the food quantity provided was limited due to fancy presentation on our plates. It was not geared to filling up the customer. SHIPBOARD ACTIVITIES. Reviewing the daily activities schedules provided, I could pick out at least 4 different themes of events and activities each day after any shore excursions: educational based (lectures, presentations), hobby based (art shows, crafts, food/wine events, etc.), leisure/games based (poolside activities, gaming area, gambling, scheduled games), other scheduled activities like movies, shows, live music of various types. If you did not want to stay themed, you could pick and choose activities from all over the spectrum to completely fill your afternoons and evenings. If a person got bored onboard a ship like Solstice, I would think the cruise thing is just not for you. SHORE EXCURSIONS. The number of available shore excursions is very large. But you can definitely end up paying a small fortune for some activities. We stayed with the lower scale, more traditional excursions and activities including: the Potlatch Totem Pole park, the Mendenhall Glacier, the White Pass train trip and afternoon walking around Ketchikan. Kind of shore excursion, we did the shipboard tour of the bridge and other crew areas. Excellent experience. While meeting and getting to know fellow travelers we learned all sorts of valuable advice for future shore excursions on another cruise. We had a few unique experiences on our trip that just added to our stories. I figure cruising with several other couples in the future would be ideal. There are so many onboard activities and shore excursions that you could stay completely occupied without seeing the other couples until perhaps once a day at dinner to tell stories. Or you could spend the entire trip with them depending on your preferences. We look forward to another Alaska cruise to see more sites, but want to try a Norway/Britain cruise or maybe Patagonia in the meantime. I thought we would have a chance to complete an evaluation form for the cruise either prior to disembarking or online afterwards. Unfortunately, we were not presented that opportunity. Thus this cruise review is my only chance to open up. FYI. I am a tough rater. I don't give out 5 stars on a whim. If the rating scheme included 4.5 stars overall, that would be my vote for our cruise experience. My wife would probably give our trip a 5 start rating. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Auburndale Cruisers A Great Cruise to Alaska on Celebrity’s Infinity, July 30th to August 6th, 2017 SUMMARY: This was an especially good cruise, one of our best. Celebrity does it right with a relaxed atmosphere; good service, ... Read More
Auburndale Cruisers A Great Cruise to Alaska on Celebrity’s Infinity, July 30th to August 6th, 2017 SUMMARY: This was an especially good cruise, one of our best. Celebrity does it right with a relaxed atmosphere; good service, dining and entertainment. We were a party of two, my wife and I, both senior citizens. This was our twenty eighth cruise since 2001 so we consider ourselves experienced and savvy cruisers. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity having sailed to Bermuda on the Summit in 2015 and 2016 and the Silhouette to the Caribbean in its inaugural season of 2012. We’ve also cruised on Holland America, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean lines. We had booked the cruise as Concierge Class passengers and as such received amenities including daily fresh fruit and canapes in our stateroom, a sizable on-board spending credit, gratuities included and various complimentary shipboard events. EMBARKATION: We had previously arrived by plane from New York City and toured Vancouver, BC several days ahead of the cruise. We then arrived by limo at the cruise terminal in Vancouver, were checked-in and boarded at about 1:00 pm. Concierge Class passengers were treated to a welcome-aboard luncheon in the main dining room. Our stateroom was ready following lunch and our luggage followed shortly thereafter. The stateroom attendant introduced himself in a very pleasant manner and was very informative. Following the mandatory safety drill we set sail for Alaska’s inside passage and Sitka, our first port-of-call. THE INFINITY: The Infinity is an older ship, in service since 2001and refurbished in 2011. Her gross tonnage is 91,000. It’s 965 ft. in length and 106 ft. at the beam. She carries 2,170 passengers and a crew of 999. Top speed is 24 knots. The infinity presently sails to Alaska in the summer and South America in the winter. The ship was spotless inside and showed very little evidence of wear and tear. However, on the outside, especially at the balcony-- there was evidence of rust and –painted-over rust not normally seen on cruise ships. We did not consider this a serious problem. There was a large amount of public space with a lot of comfortable seating available. Prominent locations included the pool deck with two pools and several hot tubs, a solarium with a heated shallow pool and small buffet, several restaurants which will be described later, a large boutique area, casino, gym, rooftop terrace and sports deck. The public rest rooms were maintained spotlessly and featured cut fresh flowers and cloth hand towels. Sailing was extremely smooth. Celebrity offers two optional, extra-cost, passenger classes; Aqua and Concierge. As advertised: Aqua Class cabins add spa-themed perks and amenities to the standard balcony cabin experience. The rooms are each enhanced with a fancy spa shower, plush bathrobes and slippers, an aromatherapy diffuser, pillow menu and extra toiletries (shower gel, lip balm and facial spray). Passengers can take advantage of a spa concierge who can reserve spa treatments, as well as complimentary tea, an expanded room service menu, some wellness programming on your in-cabin TV and free passes to the spa's thermal suite (Persian Garden) and relaxation room. Plus, Aqua Class passengers can dine for free in Blu, an exclusive dining venue featuring light fare, for breakfast and dinner Concierge Class passengers receive priority seating at on-board restaurants and access to a special lounge on embarkation day, where they can wait in comfort to board the ship. In-room amenities include a welcome bottle of sparkling wine (which we did not receive), pillow menu, afternoon canapes, daily fresh fruit, special toiletries, an upgraded spa shower head and use of binoculars and a golf umbrella. These balcony cabins are often located in more desirable locations on the ship (upper decks, often mid-ship) than the standard balconies. Despite the name, Concierge Class passengers also have access to a personal concierge. STATEROOM: Our stateroom was located on Deck 8. The room was about the same size as what we were used to on other ships. There was sufficient closet and drawer space. A king size bed, flat screen TV, mini-bar, wall safe and hair dryer were provided. The bathroom was the smallest we’ve ever had but had a good shower. The housekeeping staff was friendly, efficient and timely, quickly adjusting their duties to our schedule. For our upcoming wedding anniversary the concierge presented us with roses and a cake and the stateroom attendant followed with kissing towel swans. DINING: Complimentary (no charge) venues: • Trellis Restaurant • Oceanview Café • Pool Grill • Spa Café • Luminae • Blu – Aqua Class only Specialty (extra charge applies) • Qsine • Tuscan Grille The Trellis Restaurant, situated on decks 4 and 5, and the Oceanview were the two main complimentary restaurants. The Trellis featured a standard dinner menu and also a special dinner menu each day. Breakfast and lunch were served there daily. The food was very well prepared, tasty and portions were adequate. We never had to ask for seconds. We rated the food as very good to excellent depending upon the menu. The room however, holding more than a thousand diners, was crowded and the tables, especially those for two, were very close together. In spite of the conditions, the service was courteous, friendly and efficient. We did not make reservations but were usually seated at our desired dining time immediately or within fifteen to twenty minutes. The Oceanview buffet style restaurant was situated on Deck 10 aft of the pool area. It extended to a small outdoor section. It was available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. Except for early morning and afternoon “coffee and”, we did not dine there. Coffee, tea and juices were available there twenty four hours a day. There was also the Pool Grill featuring hamburgers, franks and sides outdoors on the pool deck. We dined in the specialty venue Tuscany Grille twice. Tuscan featured a primarily Italian menu; homemade pastas, pizza, fish, chicken fish and steaks. The food and service were very good to excellent. We also had a special Alaskan king crab luncheon which was simply amazing. The Tuscan wait staff also presented a cake and sang “Happy Wedding Anniversary” to us. Entertainment: On our recent cruises we have essentially ignored the evening shows, having seen most of them or similar shows several times. However, we did attend several of the shows and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the productions, especially by the Infinity troupe. A female singer Karen Grainger who impersonated other popular female singers was well received and gave a second performance. We didn’t participate in any of the poolside, evening or parlor games. Shore Excursions: In general, the shore excursions were quite pricey. We did however book excursions in Sitka and Juneau. The Juneau excursion included a trip to the Mendenhall glacier and waterfall, truly beautiful and amazing sights. The Sitka excursion included an injured raptor hospital and rehab site, a performance by Sitka Native American children and a national park. We were able to view the Hubbard glacier from the ship which drew as safely close to it as possible. DISEMBARKATION: Since we had a late evening (red-eye) flight home on disembarkation day we stayed as long as possible on the ship. We then stored our luggage at a nearby hotel and toured the local Vancouver area until leaving for the airport. WHAT WE LIKED AND LOVED: We loved the relaxed atmosphere. We liked and loved the food and service. WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE: There wasn’t much we didn’t like, and the little that we didn’t like is hardly worth mentioning here. RECOMMENDATIONS We highly recommend the Infinity for the Alaska cruise. We also recommend visiting Vancouver prior to, or after the cruise, or both. Maria N. & Marco J. Caputo Any questions? Email us at mcaputo23@nyc.rr.com Submitted to Cruise Critic, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first cruise having a balcony. It is a must for Alaskan cruising. The views are breathtaking. The rest of the cabin was dated (as most cruise ships are) but had more than enough room for 2 travelers. Room amenities ... Read More
This was our first cruise having a balcony. It is a must for Alaskan cruising. The views are breathtaking. The rest of the cabin was dated (as most cruise ships are) but had more than enough room for 2 travelers. Room amenities included hair dryer, toiletries, bath robes, stationary, safe, mini fridge, 2 umbrellas, and small binoculars. Martini Bar was very fun. The bartenders are performers in their own right. Johannes was great and the iced bar tops are very cool. Jeanna and the Activities group made all the ship games and activities fun. Trivia, live game shows, and "tailgating" game competitions were fun to break up the day. The performances were awesome. Between the comedians, the acrobats, and the song/dance performers, we made sure not to miss one of the shows. Dinner in the dining room was always a good time. The service was excellent by each staff member that we encountered. The buffet could use some better organization. Especially the "made to order" stations that left little room for a line and always had a crod of people mixed with those trying to place their order and the others who had already ordered. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had done Alaska by land and felt like we were missing out on some of Alaska's most beautiful scenery by not doing the Inside passage. We were right, the views from the ship were fantastic and we really enjoyed our excursions as ... Read More
We had done Alaska by land and felt like we were missing out on some of Alaska's most beautiful scenery by not doing the Inside passage. We were right, the views from the ship were fantastic and we really enjoyed our excursions as well. Alaska is a most amazing state that is hard to visualize by just looking at pictures. We had the good fortune to see some wildlife including a black bear in the wild. Unfortunately we did not get to see any whales but since we did not take a whale watching tour we probably can't complain. We were in Aqua class (our most favorite way of going on a Celebrity ship) and it was superb as usual. Our waiter and assistant waiter in Blu were over the top great and made our dining experience spectacular. The cabin in Aqua class served us well although I do think it could use a little TLC. The shower in particular was showing some major wear and tear. These items certainly did not negatively impact our trip and we would certainly go on this ship again. The music on the ship was wonderful. Not as crazy loud as on some other ships and a really good variety of music. Hats off to whoever made the decisions regarding music venues. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We wanted to visit Alaska and were interested in this cruise because of the 6-day pre-cruise land tour from Fairbanks to Seward and the 6-day post-cruise land tour from Vancouver to Calgary. We enjoyed both land tours, but the Alaskan one ... Read More
We wanted to visit Alaska and were interested in this cruise because of the 6-day pre-cruise land tour from Fairbanks to Seward and the 6-day post-cruise land tour from Vancouver to Calgary. We enjoyed both land tours, but the Alaskan one went smoother because of an accompanying tour guide and bus with driver even though most of the tour was on train. The guise and driver were fantastic. On the Canadian tour, we had no such continuous guide, but Jonsview of Canada made the arrangements and we were met along the way by various folks for tours and transfers. In my opinion, the scenery in the Canadian Rockies was somewhat more impressive than Alaska. The cruise itself was okay. We had an excellent cabin attendant in Denis and we also had outstanding Select Dining service from Gaynhor, Ronald, and Kaskara. The food was very good as we have often experienced from Celebrity. The major drawback was the layout and the frequent crowded conditions of the Oceanview Cafeteria. The layout is considerably better on the Solstice Class ships, where the food is centrally located and well defined so it is easy to find what you are seeking. The oval layout on the Millennium meant that you frequently had to do the entire loop to find what you wanted. The Concierge class cabin was okay, but the sliding door to the veranda was showing signs of major corrosion. We did some very good excursions with non-Celebrity outfits at Juneau, Skagway and Icy Strait, which we signed up with shoreexcursionsgroup.com. On these, we did whale watching on small ~16 pax boats at Juneau and Icy Strait and in both places, we saw many whales. In Skagway, we took a 20 pax van tour to the Yukon and it was wonderful. I believe that we saw more things from the van with frequent stops than you could from the train. IN ketchikan, we did do a Celebrity excursion on a small boat for "An Alaskan Feast and Lodge Adventure". My wife and I were the only ones on the trip from Celebrity and there was only one other group of four from the Norwegian Sun, its Captain, his wife and two children. It was a great excursion, since we got to see eagles up close and going after fish, sea lions, harbor seals, and many deer, just on the boat portion. We also had a nice guided walk through a rain forest, and a fantastic meal. The Captain of the small boat has also appeared on the show, "Alaskan Bush People", and told us interesting show about the show and ferrying the featured family and production crew back and forth from Ketchikan to the family's homestead. We did have a Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle (M & M) in one of the ship lounges. However, they ushered the Cruise Critic members to various small seating clusters and the main staff of the ship gave their introductions, which used up most of the time, so their wasn't much of a chance to really meet & mingle. I think they should have everyone standing and moving around. Celebrity provided mini-name badges, but the members should really be the ones bringing the info with them as specified on the Cruise Critic site. After this M&M, I didn't really remember or run into the few persons at that event during the remainder of the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our second time on this particular ship/cruise. We loved it the first time, so wanted to do it again. As always with Celebrity, embarkation was fast and easy. We were some of the first people on board and were able to easily pick ... Read More
This was our second time on this particular ship/cruise. We loved it the first time, so wanted to do it again. As always with Celebrity, embarkation was fast and easy. We were some of the first people on board and were able to easily pick and choose where to sit at the lunch buffet. As much as I did love this cruise, I have to say that the Millennium is showing her age. Not in our staterooms so much as in public areas, decks, the public bathrooms (especially). Please don't confuse this with cleanliness issues... everything was highly sanitary and I was impressed there. However, Millennium is getting long in the tooth. She needs some updates, for sure. We always travel Aqua-Class on Celebrity. Our cabin was on the aft of the boat, which we love. It was actually fairly spacious for a ship cabin and we had a spacious deck and a fabulous 180 degree view. When cruising Alaska, that comes in handy! Since we were in Aqua Class, we dined in Blu each night except for the first night. On that night, we went to Tuscan Grill. It was FANTASTIC. Quite possibly the finest Filet Mignon we've ever had. Could have cut it with a fork. However, Blu was excellent, too. The Maitre' D was a little "stuffy", but the staff was WONDERFUL! They have made subtle changes in the menu... especially the desserts. I didn't quite like those choices as much. They used to have a phenomenal chocolate cake, but what we were served was not as good. Everything else was top-notch... appetizers, salads, entrees, and the breakfasts, too. The omelet was awesome, as were the scrambled eggs. So fluffy and nice. One place I need to praise... Cafe al Bacio! If Blu's desserts lacked pizzazz this trip, Cafe al Bacio more than made up for it! Their Lattes are beyond compare and their desserts are just over the top... Blueberry pies, Cookies, Chocolate Pie with thick whipped cream, Chocolate Torte, Peanut Butter Cake.... OMG. I usually eat low-sugar. Not that week! My husband loves Bingo, so we played both days that they had it. Even though we didn't win, we were really impressed at the generous cash prizes they gave away. The first game on both days was over $350. We attended the opening night show. It was "okay". The comedian they featured one night was my absolute fav. Just excellent. Now, I have to mention something we were NOT impressed with. Milos "somebody with a long last name", was the ship's naturalist. His job (I assume) was to interpret the natural surroundings we encountered, such as glaciers, wildlife, etc. We attended a slide show, which all of us looked forward to. After all, it was an Alaskan cruise! Milos' presentation had little to do with wildlife, nature... more to do with selling shore-excursions and cracking very ridiculous jokes that were not funny. In fact, he flat-out told the audience to go book a Whale-Watch Tour if they wanted to see whales, since they weren't ever seen on the straits anymore. He was proven wrong on several occasions, as we saw both Humpbacks and Orca on our own. On the ship. On Day 2 of the cruise, we were at Hubbard Glacier, and Milos' spiel was broadcasted via intercom. Some of his humor was "bathroom-type" and he'd digress off the subject of glaciers to other stuff. It was nuts. I know Celebrity can do a whole lot better! We really enjoyed our shore excursions this time. In Juneau, we went to Mendenhall Glacier. We had plenty of free time at the glacier and took a nice nature trail down to Nugget Falls. Really nice. Next stop was Skagway. We took the Humvee Convoy into the Yukon, up White Pass. It was really fun! The guide gave each car a radio so that he could talk to us and give us info. on sights and we could also respond, asking him questions. It was a really different sort of tour, and we'd definitely recommend it. We were lucky, too. The weather was gorgeous! On Icy Strait Point, we did a Bear Search Tour. We did get to see a grizzly (Brown Bear), too. The tour directly after ours did not see any, so we got lucky. This tour is run by the Native Tlingit population and our guide was extremely knowledgeable. We learned a lot about the foliage and plant life of the area's ecosystem. And there was bear-sign EVERYWHERE. My husband and I have backpacked a lot out in Montana and Alaska. We know bear sign. Scat was EVERYPLACE. You had to be careful not to step in it! And I even pulled grizzly fur from off a tree, where it had probably been scratching. So... even if you don't actually see a bear, it's a very interesting experience. Lastly, we went to Ketchikan. We didn't have a shore excursion there, so we shopped and did a lot of walking about. It was the first sunny day we've ever had in Ketchikan whenever we've visited, so that was really a sweet surprise. I'd love to go again sometime. I think I'd try a different ship, though. Celebrity's a great cruise line, so I'll probably stick with them. The food is far better than what we've experienced on other lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this trip for the land portion visiting Denali. Having cruised the inside passage twice, we decided it was time to see a bit of the main land. While our tour guide was excellent and the sights and activities were fabulous, the ... Read More
We chose this trip for the land portion visiting Denali. Having cruised the inside passage twice, we decided it was time to see a bit of the main land. While our tour guide was excellent and the sights and activities were fabulous, the lodgings Celebrity arranged were less than optimal. Somehow, we expected the same caliber as on the ship...disappointment. We have sailed, twice before, on the Infinity. Since the Millenium is her sister, we were pleased to find that they have the same quality and vibe. Yes, she is old but the refurb done 14 months ago has spruced her up to a comfortable, well loved atmosphere. The service staff as well as the management team appear to care about both the guests as well as the ship. Everyone was welcoming, friendly and courteous. Our cabin attendant, Edwin, as well as our MDR staff, Rafael, Cristobal and Lawrence were top notch when it came to service. We have never chosen to eat in a Specialty Restaurant as the MDR consistently provides excellent food and service. The menu choices are diverse and appealing. Lunch in the MDR is a real treat. Unfortunately, the Oceanview Cafe is NOT on par with the Reflection. Poor design, few choices, minimal tables available (all probably due to the size of the space). Eddy and Valentina, the cruise director and manager, have great eyes and ears for entertainment. Every theatre production was terrific. And having live music for both the theatre and throughout the ship is truely spectacular. Can't wait to sail with Celebrity again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The food on Millenium was good for the most part, our room Steward was good and friendly. Blu was nice except for one night where they were behind on service, the food was sub standard, and they never filled my drink order. If you are ... Read More
The food on Millenium was good for the most part, our room Steward was good and friendly. Blu was nice except for one night where they were behind on service, the food was sub standard, and they never filled my drink order. If you are going to do Qsine, leave lots of time to get through the many small shared courses, but the food is imaginative and well done. We saw the typical cross section of humankind on board, including the extremes of naive to boorish. Dress code? Ha! Barefoot and bathrobes in the buffet? Yep. Smoking on the balcony? Yes. The big Bingo game was very popular! Naturalist Milo was good and funny and knew how to show rude or stupid members of the audience when indicated. You need some warm layering and rainproofing for the southeast Alaska summer, as it rained 5 out of 7 days. shoes should be "all terrain" and waterproof for shore excursions. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I always heard Celebrity was one of the better cruise lines but was very disappointed. The ship itself was nice, clean and well-maintained. The food was only average at best. The main dining room food was mass produced and something you ... Read More
I always heard Celebrity was one of the better cruise lines but was very disappointed. The ship itself was nice, clean and well-maintained. The food was only average at best. The main dining room food was mass produced and something you might get in a regular cafeteria (Morrison's, Wyatt's, etc). The evening entertainment was good. The captain was great, enjoyed his updates-the ones we could hear. Complaints-it was very hard to hear any announcements. You had to be in the right place on the ship to hear them. They did limit them, so not too many, but still couldn't hear them. I was running out into the hall to hear them. Overall communication was very, very poor. I was very confused about the beverage packages, although they were pushing them like crazy the first day) even when I researched it in advance. The standard alcohol package does't get you much (not sure it even included a red wine but not certain-poor communication). The next level is better but still only basic. If you like to drink descent liquor/wine get the premium-and I am cheap but still say that. The soda package is weird too. The base soda package only gets you fountain sodas and not the entire can of soda. It depends on what bar you order it from. Very inconsistent, poor communication. Getting on the ship was a cluster! Bigger mess outside than inside. They do this every week, you would think they would have a better system. They had some tiny, temporary signs for where to drop luggage that were a joke. Again, they do this every week..... Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first experience on the Millennium, and first Alaska cruise. We have previously sailed on the Summit (sister ship), Equinox, Eclipse and Reflection. Embarkation: We stayed in Seward the night before the cruise, and had ... Read More
This was our first experience on the Millennium, and first Alaska cruise. We have previously sailed on the Summit (sister ship), Equinox, Eclipse and Reflection. Embarkation: We stayed in Seward the night before the cruise, and had an 11 AM checkout. We left some bags we didn't want to entrust to the baggage handlers at the hotel, and took the rest to the ship via hotel shuttle. We arrived at 10:20 AM, and had to wait about a half hour before we could actually check the bags and take care of the boarding things. Once it all opened up, were were through the check in process and on board in under 10 minutes. My son was the first passenger to walk on the ship. It was great. We had lunch, then caught a hotel shuttle back to town to visit the Sea Life Center and walk around town. There is a free shuttle to get back to town; we gave a hotel shuttle driver $10 and he dropped us off. Ship: As a sister ship to the Summit, which we've sailed on 4 times, the Millennium comes out on top. I thought it might be a bit newer, but that isn't the case. I've just noticed some wear on the Summit that I didn't notice on the Millenium; perhaps it was refurbished more recently. Anyway, very nice ship, no obvious signs of wear, the elevators worked all of the time, and it was clean and obviously well maintained. In terms of movement, it was the smoothest cruise I've ever done. If you get sea sick on a cruise that smooth, you probably should seek other vacation types. Cabin: We had cabin 6085, which is a regular veranda cabin. It was one of those with the life boats just underneath, which sort of sucks, but it wasn't that big a deal. We didn't spend near as much time on the veranda as would would on a Caribbean cruise. The cabin was the usual M-class cabin, not very large, but big enough to suit its purpose. No problems with plumbing, temperature or any of that. It is a connecting room, so occasionally we heard a little more out of our neighbors than we would have preferred, but that was rare. Dining: As many have lamented, the quality of service and food in the MDR has declined. It isn't awful, but it used to be special. There are occasional standouts on the menu, but for the most part, not very exciting. Similarly, the waitstaff seem rushed. I have little doubt they've cut staff and it's impacting the staff to passenger ratio; Celebrity should seriously rethink their staffing and quality of food. Not to mention the menu used to be much more interesting. We ate in Q-sine one night. It was fun, and quite good, but WHY do they bring so much food? There were 7 adults and one child, we ordered what the waiter referred to as our "first course". I thought he was joking; he wasn't. After the "first course", we were stuffed. I can't imagine how much more then planned to bring. Maybe they assume all Americans eat until the bursting point. I've had issues with this for years in Q-sine. I hate seeing food get wasted. It's like a contest to see how much they can fit on the table. Entertainment: The string duo, and solo guitarist guy were great. They performed all over the ship. I didn't catch the name of the covers bands, but they were also very good We don't go to shows, so I can't speak to them personally, but other people said they were pretty good. Itinerary: Although this is a ship review, I have to make note of what a fantastic itinerary this is; Seward, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait, Ketchikan and anding in Vancouver. There is loads to d in every port, the people were quite friendly, and the views are just amazing. Photos don't do this area justice. But what come first, the Diamonds International store or the cruise ship? Shopping: The usual, expensive watches and jewelry, etc, etc. Nothing new here. Casino: The usual. I generally play slots, but my son's GF knows how to play blackjack, so we got to bond a bit, and I learned the basics. That was fun. It was much more crowded than usual, I suspect a function of the chilly air outside. I actually witnessed someone winning a Tag Heuer watch. Service: Excellent, MDR aside. I've read of a decline in bar service, but we didn't experience that. Bars: Spent time at the martini bar, Wine Cellar, and Cosmos. All were very nice, great service, and the view from Cosmos is fantastic, particularly when you have land on both sides of the ship. We saw a few whales in the distance, and at one point, dolphins. Excursions: We did no she excursions, but went whale watching in Ice Straight, a wildlife/glacier tour in Seward, and rented a car and drove to various locations Juneau and Skagway. Handy hint for people on whale-watching and other boat tours; if you get sea sick, don't just sit in a seat and puke, get up into the fresh and and watch the horizon. None of my group are susceptible to sea weakness, but I saw more sick people puking on excursions than on any other cruise I've done. It got a tad nasty. We went snorkeling in Ketchikan. Yes, you read that right. You can snorkel in Alaska. It isn't like the Caribbean, of course, mostly sea stars, sea cucumbers and crabs. I just wanted the experience. Kids: We very purposely cruise when school is in session for obvious reasons. As it was June, there were roughly 250 kids on the ship. I'm not necessarily anti-kid (I have two 20-something sons who were on the cruisE), but I am anti-unspervised kids. I saw kids sprinting across wet pool decks, smashing ping-pong paddles on the table, lots of shrieking, kids who spent what appeared to be the entire cruise in the hot tubs, the usual handing food and putting it back at the buffet, etc. The kids' programs were very popular, so this is a good cruise to take kids on. But please, if you travel with younger kids and teens, teach them the concept that they are there to have fun, but their fun shouldn't prevent others from having fun. Disembarkation: We did walk off. It was about as easy as it could be, other than we were not left custom's forms. I assumed they had different rules as it was a US to Canada cruise, so I had to get one from one of the border people and fill it out on the fly. You go up and cross the street to catch a train to the airport. $20.50 CDN for 5 people to ride to the airport. Again, easy disembarkation. So great cruise, but I hope the decline in food and MDR service doesn't continue. I can't say I'll do another Alaska cruise, as I like warmer climates for vacation, but it is a trip I will never forget. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Been in Celebrity many times and this cruise to Alaska was a little disappointing. The ship, the service, the staff was wonderful but the food was disappointing. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 3 star restaurant. Celebrity usually goes ... Read More
Been in Celebrity many times and this cruise to Alaska was a little disappointing. The ship, the service, the staff was wonderful but the food was disappointing. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 3 star restaurant. Celebrity usually goes above and beyond but not this chef. Food lacked taste (except for salt), beef, veal and pork were tough. Who can mess up a Creme Brûlée? Watery and top hardly caramelized. The only thing that saved this cruise from being a total disappointment was the wonderful Captain, outstanding cruise director, great main dining room waiters and wine steward. Our cabin steward, Dominic was so attentive. Beyond the Podium speakers were very interesting. One really annoying thing is Celebrity trying to sell, sell, sell at every turn. From drink package upgrades, to specialty restaurant reservations to ever present photographers. Became annoying. You couldn't get off an elevator, enter or exit a restaurant without being pitched an upsell or having a camera shoved in your face. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Stay away from the beverage packages if possible. might save some money by paying when u really want a drink. Also the art people are like sales vulchers they beg that u should select a picture. stay away.. all else was very good. cabin ... Read More
Stay away from the beverage packages if possible. might save some money by paying when u really want a drink. Also the art people are like sales vulchers they beg that u should select a picture. stay away.. all else was very good. cabin cleanineness was spot on. food was very good. waiter in dining room was very good and prompt. entertainment was good to very good. loved the comedians and liar club shows. rock show was very good . captain was visible and quite funny. excursions . the best was juneau whale watching with glacier viewing. the behind the scenes tour wasnt worth the money. ripoff. the train ride in skagway was really good. crab feast was good butnot enough of wildlife to see. the cafe on 14th floor was clean and service people were cleaning tables rapidly. fair amount of sugar free items avail. room was quiet and partial view was good Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Recently cruised (June 2017 8 days) on the Solstice to Alaska from Seattle, what a wonderful trip, places visited were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway Victoria, ship organised tours were good also, if a little more expensive than the self ... Read More
Recently cruised (June 2017 8 days) on the Solstice to Alaska from Seattle, what a wonderful trip, places visited were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway Victoria, ship organised tours were good also, if a little more expensive than the self arranged, special mention has to go to the captain for his light hearted approach and comedy, also the crew were great, food in Cafeteria was excellent with multiple choices, same in the Epernay, food in this restaurant arrived luke warm at best, shows were performed by very young and talented entertainers with variations of different themes through out the cruise, comedians (times two) were excellent giving family and adult sets later in the evening also Brent Nixon a very interesting naturelist, giving comentary on Alaska, coastal bald eagles, brown & grizzly bears, humpback whales and wildlife. Miss Amanda was also enlightning on her various talks Only one gripe the cruise did not visit Anchorage. Read Less
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